In the Days Before Fridges: Vintage Photographs Show Butcher Shop Fronts In The Victorian Era

Although the Victorian times might be remembered for dodgy health and safety and questionable pie fillings, the 19th century saw a huge shift for the local butcher. According to food historian Annie Gray: “Butchers were busier than ever as Britain urbanized rapidly, becoming the first country in the world where more people lived in towns than in the country in 1851.” Continue reading »

Punking The Past: The Steampunk Aesthetic Of Victorian London In Superb Paintings Of Vadim Voitekhovitch

Vadim Voitekhovitch was born in a small town of Mozyr, Belarus. He spent most of his life Belarus and he graduated from Bobruisk Art College. From 2004 he lives and works in Germany. His style is quite diverse, but he dedicates most of his time to watercolor and oil. Voitekhovitch likes to draw pictures on history subjects and especially subjects coming from XVIII-XIX centuries. Continue reading »

16 Bizarre Inventions From The Victorian Era

If you think that organs and bones crushing corsets were the most bizarre creation of the Victorian era, you could not be more wrong. Victorians have come up with its fair share of weird inventions. Even though this era was a long period of peace and prosperity, science was going through a weird phase.

Below are 16 bizarre inventions from the Victorian era, some useful, and some… not so much.

1. THE TRICK PLEDGE ALTAR

Oh, those Victorians! They did love a practical joke. And what could be funnier than encouraging a friend to make a pledge at your new home altar… only for him to be surprised by the abrupt appearance of a human skeleton – which spits scalding water into his face!? Continue reading »

11 Stunning Colorized Photos Showing The Street Life Of Victorian London From Over 140 Years Ago

According to Tom Marshall, a professional photo colouriser: “n the mid-1870s, Scottish photographer John Thomson captured the daily toil and struggle of the ‘street folks’ of London, in a series of photos that laid the foundations for modern photojournalism. Working with a radical journalist called Adolphe Smith, Thomson produced a monthly magazine ‘Street Life in London’ from 1876 to 1877.

The photographs Thomson took depict real life in London, showing the poorest of the poor and how they managed to survive, in scenes that could have been written by Charles Dickens. Smith would interview the subjects of the photos, often preserving the unique dialects and expressions of a world now long forgotten, and the photos lent authenticity to his text. Thomson and Smith published their photos and interviews in a book in 1878 from which the following images were taken.

I believe that colourizing images can allow a modern audience to engage better with the subject, especially in an age where we see thousands of images on a news feed every day. Colour brings out hidden details, which are often lost in black and white, and it causes the viewer to pause and look. This is not to say that the original images are not fascinating in their own right, but I believe that the addition of colour helps to enhance the scene and forces the viewer to spend more time looking into it and reading the accompanying caption.”

“There are, undoubtedly, many most honest, hard-working, and in every sense worthy men, who hold licenses from the Watermen’s Company, or from the Thames Conservancy. That these men are rough and but poorly educated is a natural consequence of their calling. Never stationary in anyone place, it is difficult for them to secure education for their children, and regular attendance at school would be impossible unless the child left its parents altogether. Continue reading »

Gustave Doré’s Victorian London: A Pilgrimage

Over London – by Rail. This is probably the most famous and most often seen plate from London.

The French artist Gustave Doré also imagines the city’s ruinous destiny in his visual report on the city, London: A Pilgrimage, published in 1869. The nightmare of London’s future continued to captivate artists in the 20th century. Continue reading »

Outrageously Long Hair Of The Victorian Era Will Make You Gasp

The Victorian era technically spanned from June 20, 1837, until Queen Victoria’s death on January 22, 1901. This was a rather peaceful time in the United Kingdom, and a romantic one as well, a change from the highly rational Georgian period that preceded it. Continue reading »

Rare Weird And Funny Pictures Show Hilarious Side Of Victorian Era Life

Burglary couple

Most of us believe that Victorian era was a grim and serious era, full of hardworking people, so that they didn’t even have time to enjoy their lives and having some fun. While this isn’t true, because cameras were very expensive and for a single photograph one had to sit in static position with same facial expression from few seconds to 10 minutes. So it seems impossible for a person to smile or laugh for minutes, that’s why majority of the Victorians preferred to sit in static position with strict expressions.

This collection of hilarious photographs shows the other side of Victorians that probably you haven’t seen. Continue reading »

Stunning Photos Of The Victorian People-Watching At The Beach

Today, our time machine is going for a pit-stop on a sunny, Victorian Era beach in Atlantic City, where the ponies are aplenty, and the bathing costumes make the women look like layer cakes. Sure, contemporary eyes may see a bunch of prudes, but for folks in the 1800s, showing off your bloomers at the beach was quite a statement, especially in the throes of Women’s Suffrage. So pick up your parasol for some antiquated people watching… Continue reading »

Tatted Up In Victorian Times: Fascinating Photos Show The Work Of One Of Britian’s First Tattoo Artists Sutherland Macdonald

Victorian pictures always show stern-looking faces with people covering their bodies from head to toe in long clothes. But vintage images have revealed how some people living in 19th century Britain had a love of huge tattoos covering their entire chests and arms. And all of the pictures from the Victorian era show the inkings carried out by one of the first ever tattoo artists – Sutherland Macdonald. Continue reading »

Victorian Christmas Cards That Are As Creepy As Those Times Themselves

If you think holidays are weird these days, then you clearly haven’t seen these 19th-century Victorian era Christmas cards that were just as creepy as those times themselves. From frogs stabbing each other to Krampus (a half-goat, half-daemon) entertaining the ladies… Yeah, these seem random as hell these days, but when you think of it, they actually work as a time machine and reveal the relevant topics of those days. Here: Greetings From Krampus Continue reading »

Beachside Bathing Machines During Victorian Era

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These bathing machines were very popular in England at 18th and 19th centuries. They allowed people to change out of their usual clothes into swimwear and were directly lowered into the water. Continue reading »

Victorian Wars: Star Wars Characters As You’ve Never Seen Them Before

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These artworks by Canadian illustrator Terry Fan, take some of the most popular characters from the original trilogy of Star Wars movies and give them a steampunk twist.

Some of the characters’ titles are translated to their real-world equivalents, while others receive new positions that still make sense. The protocol droid C-3PO becomes a baron, fitting for his dapper demeanor. Meanwhile the 900-year-old Jedi Master Yoda becomes a “Sir”, the title used for knighthood. Lord Vader barely even needs a name change, since he’s already a Sith lord. Also featuring are Boba Fett as a general, Chewbacca as a chancellor, a Stormtrooper as a sergeant and R2D2 as a Duke.
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Victorian Lady Madame Barocle

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Adriana Barahona, known as “Madame Barocle”, wearing clothing of the Victorian era, walks along a central avenue in San Jose, Costa Rica June 4, 2015. Barahona says she has been passionate about clothing from the era of Britain’s Queen Victoria (1837-1901), and has been making and wearing them since the age of 15. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate
Continue reading »

Ice: A Victorian Romance


Inuit waiting at a seal-hole on the ice, from William Edward Parry, Second Voyage, 1824.

Visiting a remarkable iceberg, from John Ross, A Voyage of Discovery, 1819.

The Lion and Reliance in icy seas, from John Franklin, Narrative of a Second Expedition, 1828.

Adventures. Brave. Ice. I’m in love of those historic images. Strongly recommended for all historic illustration fans (like me).
Ice: A Victorian Romance exhibition attempts to merge these three icy frontiers into one thematic story. By 1860, the idea that the earth had gone through an Ice Age was finally being accepted, and people attempted to view that Ice Age through the lenses of the Arctic, Antarctica, and the Alps. Knowledge of the Arctic and Antarctic, gained at such cost, provided a framework for reconstructing the ice of the prehistoric past.

All the publications on display are from the collections of the Linda Hall Library.